Slouching Towards Bethlehem

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

Artist's Description



© 2009 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

Inspired by the poem The Second Coming by W. B. Yeats.

The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

_Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
~ W.B. Yeats, originally published in The Dial, 1920

This poem is filled with Christian symbolism but is generally interpreted as an allegory of the state of society in Europe following World War I. Symbolism aside, I find it particularly apropos to the state of the world today.

Digital grunge oils from an original photograph shot in Grand Central Terminal, New York, in September 2002.


Artwork Comments

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